Colombia’s Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos traveled to Washington
Monday for the first official meeting between Colombian and U.S.
Government officials since President Barack Obama took office.
Santos is scheduled to have a meeting Tuesday with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The Defense Minister will be joined by Colombia’s Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez to meet U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday and will meet Obama’s personal security adviser General Jim Jones and a number of lawmakers of both the Democratic and the Republican Party.
According to Santos, the trip “seeks to strengthen the cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism and to show the social and security progress made with the support of Plan Colombia.”
The Defense Minister’s cousin and Colombian vice-President Francisco Santos is also in the U.S. on an unofficial tour.
The United States have invested more than five billion dollar in the fight against coca cultivation since 2000.
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe had close ties to former U.S. President George W. Bush, but has been fiercely criticized by Obama for Colombian human rights violations.